Ryanair changes first half profit and increases passenger forecast

Ryanair presented more evidence of a strong post-pandemic recovery, turning to first-half profits and raising its full-year passenger forecast.

Europe’s largest low-cost airline on Monday reported a pre-tax profit of 1.42 billion euros for the six months to September 30, compared with a loss of 100 million euros in the same period last year.

It also forecast full-year returns for the first time since the start of Covid-19 restrictions. The company is expecting a profit after tax of between €1 billion and €1.2 billion for its 2022-23 financial year, with a quieter second-half loss taking away some of its first-half profit. .

Shares were up 37 cents – 3% – in morning trading in Dublin, at €12.67.

Ryanair has been relatively unaffected by the operational issues and passenger restrictions at Heathrow Airport that affected a number of rivals over the summer.

Its revenue for the half-year was 6.62 billion euros, triple the 2.15 billion euros in the six months to 30 September last year, when airlines were still affected by the restrictions of coronavirus. This figure is 23% higher than the same period in 2019.

It also increased its forecast for passenger traffic for the year to March 31 to 168 million, from 166.5 million.

CEO Michael O’Leary said Ryanair experienced “surprisingly strong bookings” in the current third quarter of the year.

He told the Financial Times that he thinks booking levels reflect a combination of profits from rivals like easyJet that have cut operations and transactions down. cost-conscious travelers.

“There is still the risk of adverse news about Covid or Ukraine,” said O’Leary. “However, without any negative developments, we are seeing very strong pre-orders, which is unusual due to anxiety. There is no evidence in our reservation of recession anxiety.”

Its growth continues to be constrained by challenges Boeing faces in delivering a large order of Ryanair’s 737 Max planes.

Ryanair will take delivery of a total of 51 planes by April, in time for the peak summer season of 2023. O’Leary said there is a risk “about 10” of the planes will not be delivered. Deliveries are critical to achieving Ryanair’s prediction of carrying 185 million passengers in the financial year to March 2024.

“As long as we have between 45 and 46 aircraft by mid-June next year, that goal is still achievable,” O’Leary said. “If Boeing doesn’t get there, I think the core of next year’s growth is warranted.”

He acknowledged there are still “manufacturing challenges” for the plane.

“We’re trying to manage it on a weekly basis,” says O’Leary.

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